BY C.W. WOOD                                                                                                                             APRIL 2016                                                                            

   It seems to this writer, that the God-called minister has a two-fold purpose in preaching the Gospel.  He must preach in a way that will convince his hearers that are lost, that they are in true fact, Lost! There are thousands of people sitting in churches who give no evidence that they are Born-Again, but who are quite confident that Jesus has saved them.  Our Message Churches are not at all exempt from this deception.  God’s ministers have a responsibility to these people who have been tricked into thinking that intellectual knowledge and correctness of doctrine qualifies them for the Rapture.

   How can we, with any degree of the Love of God in our hearts, remain silent, when we see people that have not yet understood that there must be a Moral and Spiritual transformation in the Soul, that begins with Justification and is carried on by Sanctification, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit of Christ?  And so, one main responsibility of the Minister is to present the part of the Word to these good people that sets forth their lost condition.  It is a very real truth that one must see his lost condition before he will cry out to be saved.  As the Philippian Jailer, they must be made to cry, “What must I do to be saved?”  God’s Word plainly warns us that “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.”  (Pr. 30:12)

   On the other side of the page, the Minister must encourage the Born-Again Ones, who are being made to doubt their Salvation. Many of God’s Elect are despondent because they have not properly understood the TWO NATURES that remain in the Born-Again person.  The infilling of the Holy Ghost does not do away with the “Law of Sin in our members,” (Rom. 7:23,  and the enemy, using our sins and failures as his weapon, attempts to destroy our Faith and disrupt our fellowship with our Lord.

   If we would but remember that the Bible says, “Satan is a liar and the Father of all lies,” then we would catch him in his craftiness.  Since he cannot but lie in the final end of his preaching, we can understand that he must tell the LOST that they are SAVED and tell the SAVED that they are LOST!  How else could he even hope to win a victory?  Our Father permits his attacks, but it’s only to shake us down to the place of standing on His Word.  Our Prophet said we must determine whether our Faith is real wheat or only chaff.  A Godly life is the first proof that we are a Child of God!  A make-believer may have all the facts of the Message correct, he may testify as well as any, he may worship along with the real Believer, he may be a regular attendee in a Message Church, he may even have some faith and preach the End-Time Message, yet not have received the New Soul, or Nature!  The Godly Life, which strives to LIVE ALL THE WORD, will be missing.  There will be some parts of the Word that he will not believe in his heart, and those parts will be missing in his daily walk.

   What an awesome responsibility God has placed on the shoulders of His Ministers!  How diligent we must be in study, and in prayer and obedience, so that our message does not leave the blood of the people on our hands.  We must minister the true condition of the Lost to them, and we must minister the true condition of the Saved to them, also.  The Lost must be encouraged to seek Salvation, and the saved must be strengthened so as to hold onto what they have.

   Now, may we speak for a few minutes to some who may not as yet have the New Nature?  Remember, the Prophet and the Scriptures declare that we may be Justified and not yet Sanctified, and Sanctified, but not yet filled with the Holy Ghost.  Also, please remember that some, in their Pentecostal days, received an anointing that was called, “The Baptism of the Holy Ghost,” which was not the infilling of the Spirit of Christ, but only an anointing on the flesh man.  To these good people, the Prophet said, “You can have the Baptism of the Holy Ghost everyday of your life and still go to Hell.”  (We do not at all say that some back in Pentecost did not receive the New Nature, and we believe those who did were led into the End-Time Message.)

   Church people  will  say, “I have BELIEVED   on  the  Son     of God, and I have also BELIEVED         the    End-Time Message, therefore I know I am Born-again and no one can talk me out of it.  I am fully assured that I have Eternal Life!  Does not the Scripture say in John 5:24, “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth My Word and BELIEVETH on Him that sent me, has everlasting Life.” 

Indeed this is Scripture, but it is not ALL the Scripture that instructs about Eternal Life.  How wrong are those who suppose that BELIEVING is the only requirement for Salvation.  The Bible speaks of a number of people who BELIEVED, but who were not saved.

   John 2:23, “Now, when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the Feast Day, MANY BELIEVED IN HIS NAME, when they saw the miracles which He did.

   Verse 24, “But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men,

   Verse 25, “And needed not that any should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.  Here we see that Believing was not all that was required; there must be some “Works” to prove Faith.  “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17)

    John 12:42-43  “Nevertheless, among  the Chief Rulers  also,  many   BELIEVED ON HIM,  but

because of the Pharisees, they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the Synagogue.  For they loved the praise of men, more than the praise of God.”

   If the Lord Jesus has not come in and is found sitting on the Throne of our hearts, and if our first concern is not to please Him, then our profession is vain, and our words idle.   And so,  the  Scripture tells us to, “Examine  ourselves  whether you be in the faith, prove your own selves.”  (11 Cor. 13:5  ,  The man that Jesus likened unto one who built his house upon the rock was not merely one who “BELIEVED” because the Scripture also says,  “Whosoever  heareth  these  sayings  of mine

and  DOETH THEM.” (MATT. 7:24)

   Who are the truly Born-Again?  It is “Everyone who doeth Righteousness.” (1 John 2:29)  They are those who “Love the Brethren.” (1 John 3:17-18)  They are those “Who ordereth his conversation aright, (Him) will I show the Salvation of God.” (Ps. 50:23)  The mark of true Salvation is that “Which purifies the heart.” (Acts 15:9)  It is that “Which overcometh the world.” (1 John 5:4)  The New Birth can only be recognized BY ITS EFFECTS ON THE PERSON.  We must compare what God has promised to do in His Elect, by what has, or Has not been done in our lives.  This is to compare Spiritual things with Spiritual.  (1 Cor. 2:13) Jesus said, “The tree is known by its fruit,” or that is to say the Spiritual condition of a person is known by the life they live.

   Now, may we look at the other side of the page and the second, awesome duty of the Minister?  He must preach the part of the Gospel that will reassure the saved Saints, who are being discouraged as they see the mass of corruption that still remains in them.  There are many times when the Believer has hope that a good work has been started in him, but if we tell the truth, there are also times when we wonder if we have been made a New Creature.  There are times when our hearts seem cold toward God, and we wonder if the Love of God has been shed abroad in us.  Doubts come  into our  minds as fiery darts and so far as our emotions are concerned, it would seem presumptuous to claim Faith in our Lord.  We know that we want to love Him, trust Him, and serve Him, but it seems that we cannot.  We find ourselves mourning night and day because we feel of all men most miserable.  As the great Apostle Paul said we feel completely, “Wretched.”

   The Born-Again Christian has much to mourn over, as far as his own sins are concerned.  To see the plague of our hearts make us to cry, “Oh wretched man that I am.”  (Rom 7:24)  The unbelief that “Does so easily beset us,” (Heb. 12:1), and sins that we commit, which are more in number than the hairs of our head, are a constant source of mourning to us.  Our tendency to leave Christ out of certain parts of our lives, our lack of proper communion with Him, and the shallowness of our love for Him and His people give much room for mourning.

   We mourn over our excuseless failures and confess them to our Father.  He then comforts us with the assurance that, “The Blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

   It is scripturally true that only those who mourn will be given the true Comfort that is eternal.  Though we groan over our own sins, and the dishonor done to God on every side, yet we are COMFORTED by the Words our Father spoke to us through our Prophet.

   QUOTE: INVISIBLE UNION OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, PAGE 37, “This is my message to the Church (Bride) now as we go off the air in just a minute.  You are standing, if you are standing on God’s Word, and with God’s Word, every amen, every jot, every tittle, where    are  you  standing?      I  am  trying   to  tell   you;   pull   away  from  those shucks and get out here in the  wheat where you

can get ripe before the sun.  I hear the coming of the Combine.  YOU ARE STANDING COMPLETE, JUSTIFIED LIKE YOU NEVER DID IT IN THE FIRST PLACE…..I am more thankful for that than anything I know of.  You are the pure, virtuous, sinless Bride of the Son of the Living God.  Every man and woman that is born of the Spirit of God, washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, and believers of every Word of God, stands as though you never sinned in the first place.  You are perfect.  The    Blood  of  Jesus Christ.”  (Cleanses you.)   (End quote)

   We are anxious to win Heaven by our own goodness.  God’s way of salvation is too humbling to the carnal mind, for it leaves no room for boasting.  To be told that God will accept nothing from us, that Salvation is solely a matter of Grace, that Eternal Life is only for those who come empty-handed to receive it as a gift of Charity, is offensive to the self-righteous religionist.  But, it is not so with the one who is “Poor in the Spirit,” and who mourns over his vile and wretched state.  The very word Grace starts his spiritual heart to pumping as his faith in that Grace rises.  Eternal Life, as God’s free Gift of Grace exactly suits his poverty-stricken condition, and he has the revelation that it is his ONLY HOPE.  Grace to the Hell-deserving is what he knows he must have, as he loses all hope of ever justifying himself in God’s Eyes.  He is overwhelmed with joy at the chance to take his place in the dust before his mighty King and Saviour. Ps. 149:4, “….He will beautify the Meek with Salvation,”

   During the long wait for His appearing in the clouds, we have been called to suffer with Him who was the Man of sorrows, but it is written, “If…we suffer with Him….we (shall) be also glorified together.”  (Rom. 8:17)  There is coming soon the dawning of a morning without clouds.  Then “Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isa. 35:10)  In the meantime, as we were taught by the Prophet, we should not look so much at what WE DO (After we repent), but we must dwell on    WHAT WE ARE   in  Christ Jesus.

   By reason of our sexual birth, every one of us has the spirit of a Pharisee; we try to be Justified by keeping the Law.  From Adam and Eve, we inherited the desire to make ourselves a “Covering” for our sins.  We walk in the way of Cain until taught by the Spirit; we offer God our own works, our own labors.  We want to gain a standing before the Holy One through personal merits.

   “Guilty but innocent.”  We are sinners saved by Grace.  Though the chastening Hand of our Father is often laid upon us, we can say with the Apostle Paul, “As sorrowful, (Mourning) yet always rejoicing.” (11 Cor. 6:10)  We, at times, are led to drink the bitter waters of Marah, but our God has sent a Tree to sweeten them, Jesus Christ, in the body form of a Prophet.  By the ministrations of His Major Prophet, the Word has been brought home to our hearts in Power.  “They shall be comforted.  They who mourn now shall be comforted in the end; the best wine is reserved for the last.  Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  (Ps. 30:5)

   In Matt. 5, the sermon on the Mount, there are Some Strange Words spoken by our Lord that we may read and not understand.

   Verse 2, “And He opened His mouth and taught them saying, blessed are the POOR IN SPIRIT, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

   In our natural way of reasoning, we would suppose He should have said, “Blessed are    the   RICH  in   Spirit,” or “Blessed are those whose Spirit has been LIFTED UP.”   Instead,  He said  those     who

have a POOR Spirit are blessed.  To the natural mind, it might seem that there is a contradiction of terms here!  How could  one Whose Spirit is in poor condition be Blessed?

   Our Lord did not mean that a Poor Spirit is one that lacks Spiritual Knowledge, or Spiritual Wisdom, but just the opposite.  The Spirit of a Christian is made POOR by the revelation of Spiritual Knowledge; the knowledge of the mass of corruption that still remains in us produces a POOR SPIRIT.  The parable in Luke 18:10-14, explains the true meaning of our Lord’s reference to a “Poor Spirit.”

   “Two men went up into the Temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank thee I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican….Verse 13, “And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”

   The Publican had a POOR SPIRIT.    His knowledge of what he was in the flesh had given him a POOR SPIRIT. Because of his poor spirit, he had a repentant heart, and because of his repentant heart, he was Justified, and    there   is  no  greater  blessing  than  to be JUSTIFIED  in  the  Eyes of

God!  Therefore, our Lord said, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit.”  In Matt. 5:4  the  Lord     continues

this same line of thought. ”Blessed are they that MOURN, for they shall be comforted.”  Again, the natural mind may ask, “How can one MOURN and at the same time be BLESSED, or happy?”

   Mourning is a thing to be hated by our natural minds.  We shrink from it.  We seek after cheerful things and we long to be full of joy.  Yet, when our spiritual eyes are opened to our Lord’s teaching, we see that it is this very MOURNING over the failures of the flesh that eventually produces the joy we seek.  He stated that those who MOURN will be COMFORTED.  The Pharisee was not a mourner, he was a boaster.  He boasted because his spiritual eyes had not been opened.  The Publican was a mourner, and he mourned because his spiritual eyes had been opened.  To mourn is to be repentant, and to be repentant is to be forgiven, and to be forgiven brings the true joy we seek.  Can we not see then, that those who MOURN are truly blessed?

   Men, who live only in the natural   realm,    think    of    the prosperous  and  the  gay  as   the happy

ones,  but  Jesus pronounced  happy  those  who mourn  and   who   are   poor  in  Spirit     Of course

we understand that the mourning that God blesses is the mourning over sin. There is a “Sorrow of the world that worketh death.” (11 Cor. 7:10)  The mourning that God blesses is the result of our understanding the  unspeakable Holiness  of God, as compared   with the depravity of our flesh, and

the daily guilt found in our conduct.  This is the mourning that Jesus promised to “COMFORT.”

   In this teaching of the Lord Jesus, we see a part of the proof that we are Born-Again.  The person who has never come to be Poor in the Spirit through mourning over his sins, though he believes  in Christ and the End-Time Message, and though he may even preach the Message, this person needs to make diligent inquiry as to whether or not he has entered the Kingdom!  Mourning is a characteristic of the NORMAL Christian, and we should never allow Satan to point to it as proof of our being lost.  As has been said, he preaches to the LOST that they are SAVED, and to the SAVED that they are LOST.